12 February 2008
Stranded OFWs offer proposal to Tago
The 'stranded' OFWs camped out at Jeddah Consulate today offered Consul General Ezzedin Tago a counter proposal ~ that the 70 remaining OFWs would submit to the 'legal process of deportation' but the Consulate would take custody of the kababayan who has been proven to have an existing case instead of surrendering them to their respective employers.
The deal, would hopefully pave the way for the repatriation of the 'stranded' OFWs.
"We realized we have to meet at a certain point," explained Carlos Rebutar, Spokesperson for the 'stranded' OFWs. "We have already submitted our names for verification of identity and to know if our employers have filed a case against any of us but we remain hopeful."
According to Rebutar, the deal would ensure the safety of the stranded OFW’s who fear their employers would fabricate charges against them.
For their part, A. M. Ociones, Chairperson of Migrante Saudi Arabia expressed optimism and support to the decision.
"In the end, what is important is that they are repatriated, no matter how and the only legal option left for them is through deportation," Ociones said."I know the Philippine Consulate is up to the task, anyway they have already done it for some 76 stranded OFWs," a hopeful Ociones adds. "That is why we have been frequently asking them, why can’t they do it for these remaining 70?"
The Consulate has already processed the 'legal deportation' of 24 'stranded' men and 52 women (including some from those who trooped to the Consulate and from the Welfare Center). Four among the stranded men camped-out at the Consulate also accepted the Tago's terms by noon yesterday but their number was soon re-filled by new arrivals.According to Rebutar, the proposal came after a general meeting was held late in the afternoon yesterday. "We assured ConGen Tago that the names we submitted are 'legal' and not 'fictitious' as he keeps on insisting, and they would soon find out in their verification process," Rebutar closed.
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A.M. Ociones, Chairperson - Migrante Saudi Arabia
Tel. No.: +966-56-679-3202